Whether you are new to GIS or just looking for a quick refresh, the interactive workbook- Language Of Spatial Analysis is a good read.
Six categories of spatial analysis
According to the book, there are six categories of spatial analysis:
• Understanding where
• Measuring size, shape, and distribution
• Determining how places are related
• Finding the best locations and paths
• Detecting and quantifying patterns
• Making predictions
With this taxonomy of spatial analysis, there is a language for communication. These are just the building blocks. Successful spatial analysis requires a seven step approach that begins with asking the questions and ends with making a decision. It is important to emphasize that spatial analysis is not just running a tool, or a model, but rather is a workflow and an approach to problem solving. These are the seven steps to successful spatial analysis.
Seven steps to successful spatial analysis
Ask questions: Formulate hypotheses and spatial
Explore the data: Examine the data quality,
completeness, and measurement limitations (scale
and resolution) to determine the level of analysis and
interpretation that can be supported.
Analyze and model: Break the problem down into
solvable components that can be modeled. Quantify
and evaluate the spatial questions.
Interpret the results: Evaluate and analyze the results
in the context of the question posed, data limitations,
accuracy, and other implications.
Repeat as necessary: Spatial analysis is a continuous
and iterative process that often leads to further
questions and refinements.
Present the results: The best information and
analysis becomes increasingly valuable when it can be
effectively presented and shared with a larger audience.